There's the unlikeliest motion on Now Is the Time, Sunday, October 6th at 10 pm. Kristjan Järvi conducts a live, rip-snortin' Roadrunner, a movement from the Chamber Symphony of John Adams. Singer-songwriter Gillian Welch's dark-edged Americana is on beautiful display in My Morphine, especially in this atomized arrangement by William Anderson of the Anderson-Fader guitar duo.
That leads nicely into the saxophone-and-piano Sleep Without Dreams, a lyrical work of Michael Jon Fink, and Dmitri Tymoczko's early string quartet This Picture Seems to Move. Andy Teirstein somehow combines into a piano trio Old West saloonery and the ecstatic mysticism of the dancing Rebbe, Baal Shem Tov, in Turn Me Loose.
Finally, for solo piano, is Terry Riley's answer to Sarah Cahill's request for music about either war or peace. He was "noodling around" on the piano one night, and his grandchildren asked him to keep playing this one bit. He did; it became Be Kind to One Another (Rag).
Guest Conductor Jaap van Zweden takes the podium to conduct The Philadelphia Orchestra in an all-Russian program from last April. You'll hear two major works: Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence, inspired by the sights and sounds of Italy, and performed in an expanded version for the full strings of The Philadelphians, and - the work that saw Sergei Prokofiev at the pinnacle of his career - his Symphony No. 5, composed in the final days of World War II. It’s a symphonic masterpiece!
Violinist Maria Bachmann with Jill Pasternak on Crossover, Saturday, March 23, 2013
This week on Crossover, it's a repeat broadcast of Jill Pasternak's recent interview with violin virtuoso Maria Bachmann. A student of Ivan Galamian and Szymon Goldberg at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, she was awarded the school's Fritz Kreisler Prize for outstanding graduating violinist. Bachmann made her professional debut in New York in 1987 after placing first in the Fritz Kreisler International Violin Competition in Vienna. She has since established herself as a leading concert and recital hall artist worldwide.
Bachmann is perhaps best-known for her performances of new music by George Rochberg, Leon Kirchner, Albert Glinsky and Paul Moravec. Her debut recording on BMG, released in 1993, featured works from the 20th century, accompanied by award-winning pianist Jon Klibonoff. But her musical interests are wider than just new music. Another BMG release of the Beethoven and Mendelssohn violin concertos was very well received.
In 2010, she gave the world premiere performance of Moravec's Violin Concerto at the Kimmel Center with Philly's Orchestra 2001. She repeated that performance this past March with South Jersey's Symphony in C, under Rossen Milanov, which was recently broadcast on WRTI. We'll hear an excerpt from that performance on this show. Moravec has written fourteen solo and chamber works specifically for Bachmann.
Bachmann is also known for her chamber music performances, having appeared in concert and on recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She founded the Bachmann-Klibonoff-Fridman Piano Trio in 1993, which for a time was the resident ensemble at WQXR Radio in New York. In 2001, she formed Trio Solisti, comprised of Bachmann, Klibonoff, and cellist Alexis Gerlach. Bachmann is also artistic director of the Telluride Music Festival, for which Trio Solisti is the founding ensemble.
Bachmann performs on a 1782 violin by Nicolo Gagliano.
We'll hear the aforementioned excerpt of the Moravec violin concerto on the show, plus music from her new Bridge release called, French Fantasy. Bachmann is accompanied by pianist Adam Neiman on the disc, performing works of Debussey, Franck, and Saint-Saens.
Listen for Jill's conversation with violin virtuoso Maria Bachmann on Crossover, Saturday morning, March 23rd at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM, with an encore the following Friday evening at 7 pm on HD-2 and the All-Classical web stream at wrti.org.
The internationally known conductor Stephen Gunzenhouser, music director of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, considers himself a musical tour guide of sorts. Makes sense when you look at his discography and see just how many recordings he's made with orchestras and ensembles worldwide. The Capella Istropolitana, the Slovak Philharmonic, the National Orchestra of Argentina, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony of Ireland, the Polish National Radio Symphony, the Gulbenkian Orchestra, the Bogota Philharmonic, and the list goes on and on.
We move beyond autumnal blues, should we have them, on Now Is the Time, Sunday, September 29th at 10 pm. Saxophone, clarinet, and piano turn up the heat in Robert Aldridge's Sound Moves Blues, while Patrick Beckman honors blues tradition on the piano in Blues. Laos, Greece, Bolivia, Bulgaria, and the Tuskegee Institute's Gospel sound all inform Matthew Davidson's wide-ranging Etudes for Piano, Book 1.
Lisa Bielawa calls forth text of Jeremiah in her elegiac Lamentations for a city, a muted but compelling work for chorus and English horn. And then Philadelphia's Paul Epstein works through Isolation, Rapport, and Threnody in Three Sonnets, on words sent to him by a poet who heard his music. How lovely for that to happen, and what warm and tender songs these are, on this cusp of autumn.
Yannick Nezet-Seguin is on the podium this Sunday at 2 pm in a recorded concert from this past May, which featured Hilary Hahn's return to Philadelphia for Korngold's Violin Concerto. This colorful and cinematic score grew out of Korngold's success in Hollywood while writing many of his treasured film soundtracks.
Also on the program, trademark fanfares, folk melodies, and thunderous crescendos punctuate Mahler's First Symphony, along with humorous folk tunes and inventive orchestrations.
It’s a piquant greeting to autumn on Now Is the Time, Sunday, September 22nd at 10 pm. Adolphus Hailstork’s Romance No. 2, “Amoroso” from his CD As Falling Leaves features viola, while Colors Fall by James DeMars is a juicy work for flute and saxophone. Stephen Yip’s orchestral Raining in Autumn elicits longing cadenzas from the solo violin.
The song cycle A Wind of Fall is a setting of the poetry of Léonie Adams (Poet Laureate 1948–49) with warm and lucid music by Joel Mandelbaum. Finally, Russell Platt’s Autumn Music for violin and piano carries summer into fall with writing that is both luscious and bright.
Violinist Nicola Benedetti's latest CD on the Decca label is "The Silver Violin." The CD contains Ms. Benedetti's take on music used in film by Korngold, Shostakovich, Marianelli, Shore, Mahler and more.
The reaction upon first seeing the CD when it arrived at the station: "Yawn...OK...another film music disc." But! When the disc actually made it into the CD player, the scales fell from both the eyes and the ears, and all one could say was, "Wow." We have no doubt you'll have the same final reaction we did. "Wow."
It was an unforgettable performance! Re-live it on Sunday, September 22, 2 to 4 pm as then Music Director-Designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin took the podium in March, 2011 to conduct The Philadelphia Orchestra, Westminster Symphonic Choir, and soloists Dorothea Roeschmann and Matthias Goerne in a critically acclaimed performance of Johannes Brahms's humanistic and glorious Ein Deutsches Requiem, A German Requiem - a symphonic as well as a choral masterpiece.
The program also features one of the pillars of the classical repertory: Mozart's Symphony No. 40. Gregg Whiteside is host and producer.
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Franz Schubert's Notturno in Eb, D. 897, performed by the Stuttgart Piano Trio, is featured on CD 1 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.
The Notturno in Eb or Adagio was probably written just one year prior to Schubert's death at the early age of 31. Although the work was published posthumously with the title Notturno (Nocturne), Schubert merely labeled it "Adagio" as it may have been intended as a movement in a larger work for piano trio. With the clarity and contrast of the piano and two, stringed instruments, listen for the simple, Schubertian melody to be exchanged.
In the opening, for example, the violin and cello sing a soft duet while the piano accompanies with rolling, harp-like chords. Then the roles are reversed as the piano takes the melody, and the strings respond with a pizzicato accompaniment. The pianissimo conclusion of this little night music drifts off into a nocturnal dream.